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Despite everything we know about the importance of maintaining social connections as we get older, finding friends after 60 can be a challenge. As we age, the easy social connections that we enjoyed as schoolmates, parents, and colleagues change. As a result, many women find themselves facing shrinking social circles and needing to make new friends.
In other words, we find a void in our lives and no easy way to fill it. In our search for companionship, technology is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, services like Skype and Facebook allow us to stay connected with friends and family throughout the world. Do you sometimes feel the same? Despite all of the challenges, it is still clear that making friends and maintaining worthwhile relationships is essential after Here are some other facts about loneliness we all should keep in mind:. The good news is that having a rich social life after 60 is absolutely possible — but only if we take matters into our own hands!
There are millions of wonderful people in the world who want more friends, people just like you. But, in order to find them, you need to face your fears, explore your passions, use your network and, most importantly, take a chance on reaching out to others. Do you ever feel lonely? That might seem strange to hear, coming from someone who started a community of 50, women over But the truth is that we all feel lonely from time to time.
I know women in marriages and with big families that feel like they have no-one to talk to. Feeling lonely from time to time is natural. What we do about our feelings of loneliness is a choice! The first step to dealing with loneliness is to separate yourself from the feeling so that you can give yourself permission to make positive changes in your life.
Let me be clear. The fact that you are feeling lonely is not your fault.
Nor is it something to be ashamed of. Once you admit this, you are more than halfway to building the social life that you deserve. The longer you stay in your own cocoon, the greater the chances that you will slip into an even darker mental state, like depression. So, act now! What do you value most in your friends?
Do you look for people who enjoy the same activities as you? Do you like spending time with people who share similar beliefs to you? Or, do you prefer acquaintances that challenge your beliefs and make you think? Perhaps you enjoy the company of people who share similar political or religious beliefs. No matter what your preferences, it pays to be conscious in your choice of friends. This is true for a few reasons. First, and most obviously, when you know what kinds of friends you are looking for, you can choose to engage in activities that will give you an opportunity to meet new people of your choosing.
For example, are there political, religious, sports, social, or other groups that you could reengage with? Second, taking the time to think about what friendship means to you will make it more likely that you will see opportunities to start conversations in more natural settings — at the supermarket, in the post office, or in the park. Write your thoughts in a diary if you have time. Friendship takes time, effort, and advance planning. One of the easiest ways to find friendship after 60 is to reconnect with your old friends from high school, university, or work.
Sometimes the people that you find you have the most in common with may not be the people that you knew when you were younger. You might be surprised that you have developed common interests with your old friends in the years after school.
Or, you might find that an old friendship that lapsed due to distance can be picked up where it left off. For all you know, they might be in the same situation as you. So, send a short or use Skype to stay in touch. Keep in mind that the first few connections will always be the hardest. The more people you are able to connect with, the easier it will be to find other long-lost friends. People almost always like to stay connected — and you never know where a new contact will take you.
One of the fantastic things about being 60 is that we finally know what we want. We understand our values and know what we want to accomplish in our lives. This is one of the reasons that your passions, interests, and skills can be such a great source of friends. What are you passionate about? Do you have a favorite hobby like gardening, chess, knitting, tennis, golf, writing, cooking, or reading? Do you have any special skills that other people might be interested in learning?
Be open to connecting with people of all ages! Some of the strongest friendships that I have are with people decades younger than me.
One of the ironies of social events is that everyone tends to think that they are the only one that is nervous to talk to others. As long as you are in a public place, the worst that can happen is someone might not be what you are looking for in a friend. Based on my conversations with the other women in the Sixty and Me community, many of us want to have male friends in our lives. However, it is also important to keep in mind that the dynamics between men and women change as we get a bit older. There are many fantastic men out there who would love to be friends with you. But, unlike when we were teenagers, you may need to take the initiative.
Just smile and move on to the next friend. There is also nothing wrong with using online dating sites to find new friends. Many single men and women over 60 are starting over and developing casual, relaxed relationships, without the pressure. And, who knows. Maybe one of your new friendships will lead to something more romantic. Even if your friendship is totally platonic, it can still be a source of fun, fulfillment, and companionship. If you are interested in finding a romantic partner, you may enjoy my interview with dating coach, Lisa Copeland.
Finding new friends after 60 can definitely be a challenge. But, if you face your fears, define what you are looking for in a friendship, make the most of your own network, and reach out to people who share your interests, there is no need to be lonely. You deserve to have friendship in your life, and I hope that you find people that make you truly happy!
What do you think? Have you found it easier or harder to make friends after 60? Leave a comment and let us know. Tags How to Deal with Loneliness. Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker.
Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at margaret sixtyandme. We are community supported and may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.
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How to Find Friends and Fight Loneliness After 60 (In 5 Steps!)